Folks, after seven torturous years, our long, national nightmare is over: The South Carolina Gamecocks have once again beaten the Clemson Tigers.
In lieu of a typical game recap (boring!), I'd like to instead highlight a bunch of things about this win that are fun and good (exciting!):
-This is the first time in program history that the Gamecocks have beaten top-10 teams in back-to-back weeks. (Just in case anyone doesn't still have those highlights on repeat, USC blew Tennessee off the map 63-38 last Saturday.)
-In addition to ending the Gamecocks' seven-year skid to the Tigers, this win also snapped Clemson's 40-game home winning streak, which was the longest in the country. Oh no!
-Related, Clemson lost a game it had been leading by nine-plus points at halftime for the first time since 2008. Whoops!
-USC quarterback Spencer Rattler continued his career renaissance, compiling a 25-of-39 line for 360 yards and two touchdowns (and another on the ground). He had a couple boo-boos (the pick six, particularly, was unfortunate), but I appreciate him letting Clemson think they were in the game. Masterful troll job.
-Antwane "Juice" Wells logged his fourth 100-yard game of the season, pulling down nine catches for 131 yards and two scores. He's got NFL written all over him, and I'm talking as the No. 1 receiver in a team's offense.
-Running back Juju McDowell and tight end Nate Adkins teamed up to play unlikely heroes for the Gamecocks, making a couple of huge plays in the passing game to keep drives alive. Adkins, in particular, did a great Odell Beckham Jr. impression with as good a catch as you'll ever see.
-South Carolina's special teams remain incredible, and if Pete Lembo doesn't a) win a national award as this year's best special teams coordinator and b) get a Brinks truck backed up to his residence, things are seriously wrong. Hats off to him and Beamer Ball 2.0.
-Speaking of special teams, how hilarious was Clemson's "trick play" on that kick return in the first half? You can't out-trick this squad. Appreciated the laughs and the football, though.
-I could mention the officiating, but that was neither fun nor good, and thankfully it ended up not mattering anyway.
-Not only did South Carolina actually show up to this game for the first time in a long time, the Gamecocks weathered adversity (from both their opponent and the aforementioned referees) and found a way to cling to a 1-point lead that could have easily been blown in any number of new or old Chicken Curse ways.
See y'all in the bowl game!